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To celebrate the 40th anniversary of APEX EXPO this year, APEX Media is looking back at its members’ most significant achievements. Today, we discover how SITA’s WorldTracer solution changed the way the industry deals with mishandled baggage.

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More than 25 years ago, SITA and IATA came together to introduce WorldTracer, a global baggage matching system, with the aim of reducing luggage repatriation costs. Today, it is used by more than 500 airlines and ground handlers at over 2,800 airports.

Peter Drummond, portfolio director of Baggage at SITA, said, “The latest figures from SITA’s 2019 Baggage IT Insights indicate that in 2018, the air transport industry spent $2.4 billion on managing 24.8 million lost and mishandled bags. This is a huge improvement on 2007, when the industry spent US$4.2 billion managing 46.9 mishandled million bags. This improvement was led by major technology and process improvements over the past decade.”

As passenger numbers increase, SITA is continuing to develop WorldTracer. Most recently, it introduced WorldTracer Tablet, a mobile solution that allows agents to help passengers report and trace mishandled bags at the baggage carousel, or elsewhere in the airport, meaning passengers don’t have to seek out the lost baggage desk.

“A key takeaway from this year’s report is that airlines adding baggage tracking at more points of the baggage journey are enjoying a huge improvement in bag delivery globally” – Peter Drummond, SITA.

“We have successfully used WorldTracer’s mobile service at Frankfurt Airport, allowing agents to respond faster and in a proactive manner, which has had a profound impact on customer satisfaction,” commented Drummond.

The company has also introduced the WorldTracer Baggage Delivery Service, which uses a mobile app to allow airlines, ground handlers and couriers to manage and track the delivery of mishandled bags to a passenger’s hotel or home, and keep them informed during the process. On final delivery, the passenger’s WorldTracer file is updated automatically in real-time.

“A key takeaway from this year’s report is that airlines adding baggage tracking at more points of the baggage journey are enjoying a huge improvement in bag delivery globally,” Drummond continued. “The report shows that where tracking is done at check-in and loading onto the aircraft, the rate of improvement is as high as 66%.”

See more posts from the 40 Success Stories campaign.